Woman grimacing with hand on the left side of her head suffering from tinnitus

Are you experiencing ringing in your ears that’s driving you mad? Find out what causes tinnitus and whether you could have inherited it.

Tinnitus, what exactly is it?

Tinnitus is the term describing a person’s perception of a ringing, droning, or buzzing in the ear with no external stimulus present to explain this sensation. The direct translation of the word tinnitus is”ringing like a bell”.”

How will my day-to-day living be impacted by tinnitus?

Tinnitus can interrupt personal connections in many aggravating ways. It’s normally a sign that you have damaged hearing or some root health condition and not a disease in and of itself. You might hear tinnitus in one ear or both ears and it can hinder your ability to concentrate.

Regardless of the way in which you’re experiencing tinnitus, it is always disruptive. Sleep loss, anxiety, and even depression can also be caused by tinnitus symptoms.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be long lasting or it can come and go. Lengthy exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, is normally the cause of short-term tinnitus. Tinnitus has been documented to co-occur with a few different medical issues.

Here are a few conditions that typically accompany tinnitus:

  • Changes in the composition of the ear bone
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Trauma to the neck or head
  • Injuries that impact nerves of the ear
  • Hearing loss related to aging
  • Extended exposure to loud sound
  • Infection of the inner ear
  • Acoustic neuroma where a benign tumor forms on the cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear
  • Accumulation of excessive earwax
  • Inner ear cell damage and irritation of the sensitive hairs used to transport sound, causing random transmissions of sound to your brain
  • Several medications
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) triggered by a TMJ disorder

Is it possible that my parents could have passed down the ringing in my ears?

In general, tinnitus isn’t an inherited condition. However, your genes can play a part in this condition. For instance, ear bone changes that can lead to tinnitus can be passed down. Irregular bone growth can cause these changes and can be handed down through genetics. Some of the other conditions that can cause ringing in the ear might be passed down from your parents, including:

  • Being prone to inner ear infections or wax build-up
  • Certain diseases
  • Being predisposed to depression or anxiety

The ringing in your ear is not directly inheritable, but you might have been genetically susceptible to the disorders that are breeding grounds for tinnitus.

If you have a history of tinnitus in your family, it’s really in your best interest to schedule an appointment with us so we can assess your hearing.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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